Summer's Heating up with STEM

APPLYING THEMSELVES TO RESEARCH

The Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE) program launched in summer 2013 (during the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering’s massive Summer of STEM initiative) and is looking forward to a second season in summer 2014.

The academically strong 10th and 11th grade students chosen to participate in ARISE, which is funded by the Pinkerton Foundation, come from schools in Brooklyn and other boroughs. During the rigorous seven-week program, they undertake college-level coursework; receive mentoring by a graduate or postdoctoral student; and work in one of several faculty labs, where they are introduced to engineering concepts and principles, the scientific method and ethics, and lab safety.

Students could find themselves in Dr. Magued Iskander’s Soil Mechanics Lab, Dr. Masoud Ghandehari’s Optical Sensing Lab, Dr. Nasir Memon’s Information Systems & Internet Security (ISIS) Lab, Dr. Nikhil Gupta’s Composite Materials and Mechanics Lab, or a host of others. Dr. Vikram Kapila, who hosts students in his Mechatronics Lab and also helps administer the Center’s programs, says, “It’s wonderful to realize that when we discuss the NYU School of Engineering’s robust commitment to STEM education, we do not have just a professor or two engaged in these activities. Fully one-third of all our faculty members take part in K12 STEM education projects.” He adds, “This year our Center is expanding even further, and there will be faculty from other NYU schools involved as well.”

SAFE AND SECURE

With one of the oldest and most recognized cybersecurity programs in the country, it’s only natural that the School of Engineering’s STEM efforts include a strong cybersecurity element. With help from the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency, in 2013 Brooklyn became the site of a series of highly successful cybersecurity camps, which are expected to be equally effective and engaging during the second Summer of STEM, in 2014.

Participating high-school teachers will have a chance to prepare a curriculum that will guide their students toward STEM mastery and participation in the largest student cybersecurity competition in the world—Cybersecurity Awareness Week (CSAW), hosted each year by the School of Engineering—and professors from other colleges and universities will conduct research alongside School of Engineering faculty members and learn how to ignite students’ interest in cybersecurity careers.

Young women in high school will also have their own dedicated camp, an important component since they comprise a particularly underrepresented demographic: Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percentofSTEMjobsandmakeuponly13 percent of the country’s cybersecurity professionals, according to the report “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation” by David Beede of the U.S. Department of Commerce and his colleagues.